7 Essential Questions For Your Wedding Photographer
— By Luke Ellery
06 December 2018
While on the hunt for the perfect wedding photographer,you will find that you'll be setting up a bunch of meetings. When you meet with your potential wedding photographer you need to consider whether you will be a good fit for each other. To make this decision making a little easier, and so you can feel certain you are covering all the bases, there are a few very important questions you need to ask.
1/ Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding?
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Some photography businesses have a handful of photographers within the company on call to photograph weddings; it allows their business to book multiple weddings for the same day. You should ask whether the photographer you’re meeting with is the one who will shoot your wedding. If it turns out that they are not, ask if you can meet with the photographer that will – and be sure to view their individual portfolio.
2/ Can you provide references?
If a photographer feels they have done a great job at a wedding, they will ask the bride from that wedding to write a testimonial for them. Particularly ecstatic brides will often take the initiative and provide lengthy and detailed reviews of their service with or without prompt from the photographer. In any case, requesting these reviews is a great way to find out whether your photographer has a history of happy clients.
3/ Are You Familiar With our Venue?
If a photographer has been in business for a number of years, they have more than likely photographed at your chosen venue before – maybe many times even. If they haven’t, ask if you can visit the venue with them before the wedding. Familiarity with the venue allows your photographer to be prepared with ideal shoot locations and plan Bs for bad weather. Occasionally (though rarely) photographers will charge extra for venues that are too far out of their home base. If they are familiar with the venue and location, then you can get this discussion out of the way early so you aren't met with any nasty surprises at the last minute.
4/ Can I view a full set of wedding images?
Often photographers will have amazing portfolios, with dramatic feature images carefully hand-picked by the photographer, from dozens or even hundreds of weddings they have shot over the years. Of course, it's relatively easy to pick out a portfolio of incredible work from thousands of images. Often, there is a stark contrast between the quality of this selection and the 300+ that you will receive from your wedding day. Ask to check a full wedding shoot to see if they can keep up that quality for the full coverage.
5/ How soon will I see my photos?
While some photographers can promise image delivery within three weeks, most work to an approximate 6-week deadline. Some photographers will promise a highlights selection within a week or so with the full set of images at a later deadline. Check that you’re okay with the timeframe that your photographer will work towards. It's also important to know that editing and curating an entire wedding album with thousands of photos doesn't happen overnight – so do respect the deadline that your photographer gives you.
6/ Do you supply digital files?
If your photographer supplies you with the digital files and an open license, you have the freedom to print, produce albums, and back up as you please. It’s not paramount that you receive the digital files if you’re happy with prints and albums but be sure to clarify your arrangement. Also, don’t ask for RAW files (RAW images are straight out of the camera, untouched files.). 99% of photographers will say no to RAW files, and it's for a good reason; you’re paying your photographer to produce amazing images, and the images aren’t fully produced until the photographer has touched up the images.
7/ How do you handle wet weather or harsh sunlight?
A professional photographer should have the expertise to handle any weather situation and create art to a high standard, rain, hail, or shine. Ask whether you can view past wet weather weddings or mid-day ceremonies. More often than not, how wet weather will be handled is down to the bride. If you want to get some epic shots in the rain, they are likely to accommodate. However, in the same vein, if you want to go inside and stay out of the nasty weather, your photographer will still make sure they get the best possible photos for you.
Finally, Questions to ask yourself:
1. Do I get along with my photographer? I’ll be spending a lot of time with them on my wedding day; are our personalities a good match?
2. Am I comfortable with their work and communication style?
3. Has the photographer listened well and addressed all my concerns and questions?